If you and your family are healthy, then you are rich beyond measure. Most of us have been touched by cancer during our lifetime, whether it is a friend, a family member, or ourselves; so you know that what truly wins this battle is hope. It is our greatest weapon against cancer no matter what treatment plan you are on. One of the organizations in Houston that is giving children and their families hope is Purple Songs Can Fly. This program was created and is run by my dear friend Anita Kruse. Their organization’s website gives this information about their various programs: “In 2006, Purple Songs Can Fly created an in-house recording studio at Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers. The studio is located on the 14th Floor of the Clinical Care Center of Texas Children’s Hospital and provides the children being treated for cancer, blood disorders and their siblings the opportunity to write and record their own songs. In this program, any child being treated in the out-patient clinic or a sibling is welcome to participate, and no musical training or experience is required. From puppies to best friends, favorite teachers to hating shots, God to Harley Davidsons, love songs to summer camp and everything in between, the children’s songs can be written on any topic imaginable. Every song is unique, but very often the Purple Songs Can Fly staff will work on capturing the child’s words first, and then move into creating a lyric and its underlying music. The children are involved each step of the way, choosing the rhythms and sounds they want to hear and even composing their own melodies. Once the underlying music is created, the child is then able to practice singing the song before recording a vocal track. The music and vocal track are then mixed and burned to a disc. Each child is given the CD recording of their original song to take home and share with their family and friends. “ “In 2011, Purple Songs Can Fly created a portable recording studio which enables the composers to work with in-patient children at their bedsides to write and record their own songs.” “The child life specialists, social workers and staff of the Texas Children’s Cancer and Hematology Centers have created The Retreat of Renewal, an annual bereavement retreat, which is offered to those families who have lost a loved one. At this retreat, Purple Songs Can Fly composers work with the siblings of children who have passed to write and record a song about the loss of their brother or sister. Using a portable studio, this recording program benefits the children and families by providing a comforting outlet of expression for their shared feelings of loss and love.” Hear about the value of hope from the amazing children in this special program at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTgKQKCfY8g&list=UUUj4baXsXcp2GtxIdpLG9cw&feature=c4-overview To donate, volunteer, or attend one of Purple Songs Can Fly incredibly moving events, please go to www.purplesongscanfly.org or like them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/PurpleSongsCanFly
I photograph children every day at my Houston photography studio but it was a true honor to photograph these strong, amazing and talented young people. They inspire me and their hope is contagious… listen and gain hope!